Han Ahn Soon. The brand bearing the designer’s name was established in Osaka in 1997, a few days after graduation from the region’s fashion school.
Born in Ikuno to second generation Korean parents, Han fused Korean ethnic piquancy with mode to synthesize a radiant pop expression of feminine elegance, woven into her 1998 debut collection - “HAN AHN SOON’s Pop Couture.”
In an overnight euphoria, Han became the central figure in the Osaka indies fashion scene by designing the official costume for the World Flower Expo 2000, media exposure that included a 60 minute nationally televised documentary featuring Han’s ethnic design, and design collaboration with Osaka’s favorite team - The Hanshin Tigers.
In 2001, Han moves to Tokyo under a design contact with LeShalle Bleu, operators of the iconic Restir, releasing the “Ningyo (or mermaid) Collection” for her invitational Tokyo Collection debut. The limestone beads, and svarowski crystal woven into denim frenzied the industry and became a landmark design influencing numerous brands and designers since.
Han’s unique ethnic and cultural background mingled with Tokyo’s kawaii spices birthed the infamous “Hello Kitty Dress” presently installed at the FIT Museum in NYC. Recently, the denim’s designed and printed with G-Force characters were reported to have auctioned for ten times the original retail price.
In 2006, Han established HAN AHN SOON Co., Ltd. and signed a partnership agreement with Mark Styler Inc., a Tokyo based fashion brand management firm. Aside from her seasonal collections with Mark Styler, Han actively seeks conceptual possibilities such as the Han Ahn Soon collaboration line with Uniqlo, and the “Passo-Sette Collection” with Toyota. Further, the brand strategically parts from the Tokyo Collection scene to join the semi-annual “Touch Me” show-event, with focused exposure to fans of Han Ahn Soon.
In 2009, Han was invited to participate in the Pusan Collection in South Korea, after which she was selected to “The 100 Japanese Fashion Designers” published by BNN.
In 2010, she signed a joint venture agreement with Marks Tyler and became the management brand of the company. In the same year, she moved from Tokyo Collection to the Marks Tyler production, fashion show, and event, “Touch Me.”
In the world of girls’ culture, which is a large part of Tokyo’s pop culture, she worked on her own project “Pop Couture.”
In 2013, Han returned to the Tokyo Collection and became the first in 17 years to appear on the cover of USA WWD as a part of the Tokyo Collection. Release of the “Princess Knight x HAN AHN SOON” project as result of her collaboration with Tezuka Productions extended her strong presence in Japan.
In 2014, she started the company “8 Design.” Not only limited to the HAN AHN SOON collection, the company develops a wide variety of creative-contents projects. It debuted at NY Coterie.
In 2015, she took part in New York Fashion Week’s official project “Tokyo Runway meets New York.”